SRINAGAR: Following the directives of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), School Education Department said that it will make all ‘schools disabled friendly’ by 2024 and will ensure all provisions for specially abled students.
Director of School Education Kashmir while referring to the directives of NHRC asked all Chief Education Officers (CEOs) of the region to implement Section 45 of Rights of persons with disabilities Act.
Section 45 of Rights of persons with disabilities Act says that ” All existing public buildings shall be made accessible in accordance with the rules formulated by the Central Government within a period not exceeding five years from the date of notification of such rules”
“PART II – (2) The appropriate Government and the local authorities shall formulate and publish an action plan based on prioritization, for providing accessibility in all their buildings and spaces providing essential services such as all primary health centres, civil hospitals, schools, railway stations and bus stop”.
“The department of School Education shall endeavor to make all schools disabled friendly by 2024 and in this connection access audit of all schools, on priority High and higher secondary schools need to be conducted within the next three months in consultation with persons with disabilities and the organizations working for the disability sector,” DSEK said.
It also said that the department of School education shall engage a nodal officer to look into the grievances of students and staff with disabilities.
“There need to be help desk at Chief Education Office level at Zonal level to minimize the challenges of children with disabilities and staff with disabilities as well,” DSEK said.
According the directorate, all the government recognized schools shall ensure access to school buildings, provision of disable friendly washrooms, accessible wash stations and provision of low floor accessible busses in their transport fleet.
“All the websites of the school education department to be completely disabled friendly as per Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) within 5 months and the websites on which examination forms are submitted need be completely disabled friendly,” DSEK ordered.
It was also directed that the websites of all schools including government recognized (Private Schools) shall be mandatorily accessible to students with visual and hearing speech disabilities. “There needs to be a toll-free telephone line for the children with disabilities.”—(KNO)